Care Plus

What an amazing year it has been for Care Plus!

Care and support director Les Clarke describes how the expansion of services into Shropshire was just one of many successes during an exceptional year.

This has been such a busy period for us that it is only now that we can take a few moments to reflect on how much we have achieved.

This has been the year when we fulfilled one of the promises to customers when we set out on our journey as a new, larger Group. We have expanded our acclaimed At Home care service into Shropshire, providing a new level of support for people who want to live independently, in their own home.

This year we recruited the first members of a wonderful team of carers in Shropshire. Currently, we have 16 carers working in the new service, delivering 250 hours of care and support each week. On top of this, we delivered a further 1,400 hours a week in Staffordshire.

CQC celebrations

We’ve been celebrating another very positive Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, too. Inspectors awarded a ‘Good’ rating in all five categories and said “Without exception, people and their relatives told us that they were treated with care and kindness.”

I’m very proud of each and every one of our carers. I know that our customers are equally proud and I was pleased that so many of them were able to share in our tea parties celebrating the publication of the report.

Customer satisfaction remains some of the highest in the sector. Customer feedback shows that 100 per cent of people are happy with the care and support we provide.

Of course, Care Plus isn’t only about At Home care. We also manage retirement living communities housing 1,539 people. This year that provision expanded as we took responsibility for accommodation in Shropshire. We now manage 34 retirement communities, making us a very significant provider in Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Whilst some of our stock is quite old we have worked very successfully with our colleagues in Property Plus to make massive improvements to the facilities and overall feel of the properties. We have a great team of retirement living officers helping to make our properties great places to live and building flourishing communities. With customer satisfaction at extraordinary levels for supported housing (93%) we have managed to reduce rent loss by letting vacant properties quickly achieving more than 99% occupancy during May 2018. This means more money is available to invest further in the properties and services we operate.

We are investing in better housing for older people. This year we opened River View, Penkridge and began working with residents of The Burgesses and Mill House in Kinver as we prepare to develop exciting new modern homes for older people in the area, designed to meet their needs and aspirations for many years to come.

As well as providing excellent services in care at home and older people's housing, our staff in Shropshire provided a community-based support service for 1,040 people who need help in developing life skills. This can include people who have faced domestic crises, drug and alcohol dependence and others with mental health needs and learning difficulties. Our service, which is supported by funding from Shropshire Council, provides them with the skills to cope and the support they need to maintain a home for themselves and their families. It helps them deal with the challenges of life including entering further education and employment.

In a year when we have been recognised nationally in the Housing Heroes Awards and hit the headlines digging through the snow to support people in need, I think the last word should be from a family member of one of our customers: “I’m completely happy with the care the staff provide and I know I couldn’t cope without them. They support me as well as my relative because they take all the worry away.”

Read more about our success in Our Journey – the Group’s 2017-18 annual report.